What’s more fun than tennis lessons? Actually playing the game.
That’s the concept behind team tennis for children, a Tennis Canada initiative that has proven hugely successful in Ontario and is now being offered in the Comox Valley.
“Most kids play on sports teams,” said Brenda Dean, Tennis Canada’s Community Champion for the Comox Valley. “They develop their friendships and good competition.
“Typically with tennis what happens is kids get bogged down in lessons. With team tennis there’s 15 to 20 minutes of instruction and warm-up, then it moves right into (an hour of) play,” said Dean, who recently attended a conference in Toronto where the concept has caught on big time.
Dean explained there are four to six players on a team and they are ranked so that they play their opposite number from the other team. “The accrue points as a team, so everybody is a part of it,” she noted.
There is no experience necessary. Getting the ball over the net and having fun is the object, with the gradual development of skills from the introductory instruction from each session a bonus.
Registration for this pilot project on Vancouver Island is now underway, and Dean notes spaces are limited. Registration for kids age five to 11 is through the Comox Community Centre, where games will be played on Saturday mornings beginning in January.
Dean says if this six-week program is successful it will lead to a 12-week spring program. She adds parent participation is mandatory for the program. “Five-year-olds can’t keep score,” she notes, so parents are required on a rotating basis for that and also to tie any loose shoelaces.
“Tennis needs to be a sport that children can choose to play all year round,” said Dean, who operates In Your Court Tennis Academy in the Comox Valley. She received a Sport BC President’s Award in March of this year and was instrumental in the Comox Valley being named Tennis Canada’s 2013 Tennis Friendly Community of the Year.
For more information, contact Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for team tennis, call the Comox Community Centre at 250-339-2255.